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Lecture 2

PSYA02H3 Lecture Notes - Lecture 2: Nomothetic, Psychological Testing, Predictive Validity

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Dwayne Pare

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PSYA02 – Lecture 02: Measuring Intelligence
Studying Individual Differences
Nomothetic research is the psychological research geared towards understanding the
“average” human
Some research focuses on why and how some humans differ from others – focuses on
“individual differences”
Can be controversial especially when it comes to educational grouping (e.g. gifted
Important to understand types of intelligence
Business smart vs. book smart
Benefits and Controversies
What is intelligence?
How does one measure intelligence?
Leads to question of what is the point of measuring intelligence?
There is the belief that intelligence could be innate and the belief that it could be shaped
by the environment
Intelligence that be shaped by the environment could be nurtured in a person
Used to be believed that intelligence is purely innate and therefore there was no
way to change someone’s level of intelligence
An ability to measure “intelligence” might be beneficial in a number of ways but also
Benefit: It allows you to assess whether certain educational approaches lead to
higher levels of success
Controversy: Sterilization based on IQ score
Assessing Intelligence
Psychologists define intelligence testing as a method for assessing an individual’s
mental aptitudes and comparing them with others using numerical scores
There is a population base reference used
A Brief History
Galton was interested in measuring all human aspects
Sensory discriminations was used by him to determine intelligence
The faster you react, the smarter you are
Measure of intelligence took off with Binet’s work
Prominent French Psychologist
Believed intelligence was reflected in the way people performed in various
paper-and-pencil tests which targeted a number of areas such as
Imagination etc
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